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The King's Curse by Philippa Gregory

The King's Curse (2014)

by Philippa Gregory

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a little long. interesting theory about henry and what was wrong with him. a different portrayal of cromwell than hilary mantel has. amazing in both portrayals that henry kept him for so long. ( )
  mahallett | Sep 7, 2015 |
Margaret Pole is heir to the Plantagenet line, a dangerous inheritance in Tudor England, for the Plantagenets are the true heirs to the throne. Henry VII was a paranoid king, and imprisoned or killed any Plantagenet heirs he could, in order to secure his throne. Because Margaret is married to the governor of Wales, she is safe, for a time, and becomes the guardian of Arthur, Prince of Wales. But when the prince dies, and his bride, Katherine of Aragon, sets her sights on marrying Arthur's brother Henry, Margaret chooses the wrong side of the issue and is shunned from court, casting her and her sons into poverty. As she works to regain the favor of the king, and to have her titles and fortunes restored to her, Katherine wins her bid to become the next Queen of England. And Margaret wins back her place at court, becoming a lady-in-waiting to the lovely Spanish queen, which also gives her a front-row seat to watch the queen's downfall for Henry VIII's new love, Anne Boleyn. Through four queens, we see the events unfold from Margaret's perspective, until she infuriates the wrong people one too many times. The King's Curse is another excellent book by Phillipa Gregory. She writes her stories so well, I feel like I am in the time with the characters. This was an interesting point of view for me; I liked that Margaret was connected to the court, but not there all the time. We get to see the court and all of its intrigue, but also get to see some of what goes on when the nobles are not at court. I also always appreciate that Gregory chooses women, and strong women, to narrate her tales; women definitely had a different role in the 1400-1500s, but there were some strong women then who need the spotlight. Those strong women often got in trouble, as we see in this novel, but their stories still need to be told. Rich details and the court life drew me in to this great story. ( )
  litgirl29 | Jul 14, 2015 |
Excellent, as always for this author. I listened on CD. I also enjoyed the author note at the end, explaining her "take" on Margaret Pole's life.
( )
  mfdavis | May 20, 2015 |
This is the sixth book and conclusion of the Cousins’ War series, revolving around the feud between the York and Tudor branches of the royal family in England. This book is told from the perspective of Margaret of York, cousin to the late queen Elizabeth of York, who was the wife of Henry VII. Now it is Henry VIII who is taking the throne and Margaret witnesses his reign as both friend and enemy as Henry grows from boy to man and changes the foundation of royalty and the church.

I won’t say too much about this book, as it’s the last book in the series and if you haven’t read the others, this probably doesn’t interest you. But once again, Gregory has written a phenomenal book and I was hooked from page one. I love how she writes her female protagonists and Margaret may be one of my favorite voices in this series. Throughout this series, I’ve always sided with the Yorks (Plantaganets? I’ll admit, the family tree confuses me somewhat) and I think Margaret’s struggle to stay on the good side of the king and support her family was touching.

The end of this book (and series) actually brought a few tears to my eyes and renewed my love for Gregory’s work. I wish I had time to reread her other works. I’m already a huge fan of this series and her work, and I will continue to be a fan. If you’re interested in Henry VIII and his predecessors and you like historical fiction, check out this series – book one is The White Queen. ( )
  MillieHennessy | May 17, 2015 |
I have enjoyed the whole series, but this was the best yet. The portrayal of Henry VIII's psychology is brilliantly done, and the developing sense of paranoia and menace is chilling. Some years ago I read Simon Sebag Montefiore's 'The Court of the Red Czar'. Reading 'The King's Curse' brought back the experience of reading that brilliantly written but deeply upsetting book, and the parallels with Stalin became stronger page by page. Some have complained of the abruptness of the book's ending, but when written in the first person how else could it have ended? This simply brought home to me the sheer waste of human life and energy. ( )
  ChrisSterry | Apr 14, 2015 |
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The riveting story of Margaret Pole, daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, and was one of the few surviving members of the Plantagenet dynasty after the Wars of the Roses. Plantagenet, once carried proudly by Margaret like a crown upon her head, is now, at the end of the 15th century, the most dangerous name in England.… (more)

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